EcoZoom is a social enterprise and certified B-Corporation that brings safe, clean, and affordable cookstoves to developing countries across the world. By providing borrowers with sales training, official certification, and interest-free stoves on credit to resell at a personal profit, EcoZoom aims to empower workforces and local economies while also creating financially sustainable markets for clean cookstoves.
Pricing their cookstoves between $30-40 USD, EcoZoom strongly advocates for every individual’s right to clean, safe, and affordable energy. Each stove incorporates user feedback throughout the development cycle to ensure quality, functionality and efficiency. The resultant products are ecologically designed and fuel efficient, reducing pollutant carbon emissions by 1-3 tons per year and using 55-70% less fuel than traditional open fires or unimproved stoves.
Since its incorporation in 2011, EcoZoom has sold almost 100,000 cookstoves, impacting the lives of 500,000 people across 14 countries in Africa and Latin America. This translates into a reduction of over 192,000 tons in carbon emissions.
By making these affordable, fuel-efficient, and clean stoves available throughout the developing world, EcoZoom wants to improve the health, income, and surrounding environment of its targeted communities.
A unique lending approach:
Through this partnership, EcoZoom is now able to offer clients -- with a focus on women and disadvantaged youth -- the opportunity to become zoomers (stove sales agents) within their own communities. This will increase the organization’s reach while also offering individuals a concrete income to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
Under this program, Kiva lenders’ funds will be used as working capital to provide borrowers with in-kind loans in the form of stoves. As part of the process, potential sales agents are invited to complete trainings in sales, finance, marketing, and logistics. Upon completion of the trainings, each borrower becomes a certified sales agent, receiving access to stoves on credit at a discounted price. Each loan is interest-free, allowing borrowers to profit from their sales and earn a substantial income.
This program also allows borrowers to begin building a credit history, giving them future access to formal funding from the banking sector.